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How can employers address harassment in the workplace?

On Behalf of | May 17, 2024 | Employment Law For Employers |

Florida employers need to create and maintain a safe and respectful work environment. It’s not just a legal requirement; it’s the right thing to do. If they fail to address issues like harassment, employees feel unheard and unsafe. This can hurt morale and productivity, ultimately leading to a negative impact on company culture.

Employers should take proactive measures to prevent unwelcome behavior. This can help them avoid legal troubles and potential damage to their reputation.

Make employees feel safe to voice their concerns

Employers can run training sessions that cover key aspects of harassment at work. The training program could include:

  • Defining harassment: This includes verbal, physical and visual forms of harassment. Giving specific examples can help employees understand what kind of behavior is inappropriate.
  • Understanding rights and responsibilities: Employees should know their right to a safe work environment and their duty to respect their colleagues.
  • Intervention techniques: Training can show employees how to step in when they see harassment.
  • Assuring confidentiality: Employers need to assure employees that all harassment reports will be handled confidentially and professionally. This protects those who report harassment from retaliation.

It’s important to tell employees what harassing behavior looks like and how to report it—either to a chosen human resources (HR) representative or through an anonymous online system. Including these topics in training can help employees identify wrong behavior and make them feel comfortable raising any concerns.

Addressing instances of harassment

Employers in Florida have the power and responsibility to address harassment at work. Not all employees will behave well, and the company can’t control everyone. It’s likely that they will receive harassment reports. To make employees feel safe and valued, employers should be prepared to handle both the person accused of harassment and the person who made the complaint.

Seeking the assistance of a legal professional can be beneficial in these situations. They can provide guidance on the most suitable course of action to take.